Among the extraordinary wisdom of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the very first verse is the guidance that calls me home every time.
Atha yoga anusasanam.
Now, the teachings of yoga.Yoga Sutra 1-1
We start now.
In this beginning, we aren’t simply being introduced to the text to come. Sure, the teachings follow. But what’s first?
With this word, atha, we land in the now. We’re reminded that the moment has come, that every effort will be made in it, and we’ll have the opportunity to continue or amend our efforts with every ‘now’ we realize.
What is the effort we make? Yoga. We connect. We remember our relationship with every atom and all it has to teach us. We establish ourselves firmly with everything that is. We follow the guidance of our connections. This is the intersection of our experience and the experiences of every teacher, sage, saint, and friend who came before us. Now, we connect.
Now. Yoga. The teachings. Shared with and in and through every quantum.
We’re not guided to the past or future. We’re not consoled that yesterday has hidden the answers nor does tomorrow dangle a solution. We’re asked to arrive now. This is the precise moment to begin because there is no other moment but now. And now is here to teach us.
To be present right now is a big ask. Most of us don’t fathom how frequently our attention time travels. It’s out there navigating the past and we’re right here struggling under its weight. Or it’s bouncing into some anticipated future and we can’t feel the ground beneath us. Our attention travels and we’re just here, completely unaware of the wonder surrounding us now.
What if we return?
What if we connect? Now?
What if we turn our attention to this precise moment and experience all it has to offer?
It’s in this place of experience that we discover what has always awaited us. We’re abundantly supported by the ground beneath our feet. The ground teems with life and we’re life. We’re all lightly at play, all in community, all blessed to share this moment. We have no other place to be. What we do in this moment is less relevant than our commitment to experience it. Like the those who came before us, our engagement with the moment will lead us to cherish life’s abundance. If we’re willing, it teaches us perfection.
As information shifts and fear circulates, as the threads of our communities break and reweave, as we strive toward compassion for those we don’t understand, now is the time to connect. Now is the time to realize how blessed we are to share this moment.
We are only now.
Now is the only time we can practice yoga. Now is when we practice life. Now, we are all together.
Will you share this moment with everyone? Take a breath, feel the ground, and savor this moment for all it teaches you. In the next breath, discover your new ground and the new light and learn.
Now, we learn together.